Santa Clara University

bloggers abroad

About the Authors

All views expressed here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent Santa Clara University. Click on the above photos for their photos and bios.


Blogs from Abroad

Back to Blog

Switching Countries

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010


One of the best parts about the SFS program is that it is a dual country program! I am now in Kenya for the remaining month and a half. I am currently in Kimana, Kenya and I can see Mount Kilimanjaro right in front of me all day, everyday, unless it’s cloudy of course. The transition from country to country was pretty easy, crossing the border was not too much of a project; however, the countries are very different when it comes to atmosphere and people. Kenya has a lot more Maasai people than Tanzania and our camp is surrounded by Bomas (where the Maasai live). Our second day at camp we traveled to a Bomas and visited with our neighbors. Can you imagine living in a mud hut, wearing cloth, carrying a spear, and managing livestock for the rest of your life? Speaking as an American, I don’t think you can. It is truly unbelievable to experience and see the way these people live day to day. I am not sympathetic because they are very happy and very welcoming people; it is all they know and all they have. They use their resources to the best of their abilities and live the life of a Massai as best they can. Some young Maasai, however, have in fact left their Bomas and ventured out into the developing world around them to not necessarily find a better life, but to experience something new and live according to what they find.
I do not want to get mushy and say I learned to be grateful for all that I have in my life as an American and as a student going to Santa Clara, because throughout my experiences I have already discovered this gratitude within myself. I am very privileged and I am very blessed to have the life that I do; although, the importance of this realization is to do the best that I can with what I have and to not take gratitude in material things. To never take advantage of all that has been given to me throughout my life, but to tactfully use it to help the world around me and to not be selfish, but selfless in how I use these things. Happiness does not stem from materials; how can it? Birthday presents, Christmas presents, houses, cars, designer clothes, etc., etc. Yes, these things bring a smile to a face, but do they make a person happy? I’ve been asking myself how would I feel if I didn’t get any presents for Christmas or any cards on my Birthday, and of course, my conclusion is I would be a little sad for the day, but would it change the happiness is my life? No. I have learned to find happiness in myself and in everything I experience. I ask you to think about what makes you happy and why and if those things happen to be a type of material, ask yourself how you would feel if you did not ever have them in your life? It has been enlightening to witness such happiness and love here in Kenya. A place where fancy cars, restaurants, clothes, wood houses, and so on do not exist; yet, there is so much happiness within the atmosphere it is almost impossible not to soak it in.
I hope all is well wherever you may be,


Comments Comments

Post a Comment
login required

Tags: Katharine Kurtz (Kenya

Printer-friendly format